The Markup is hiring! Here's how we're going to do it.
The Markup is a new nonprofit nonpartisan journalistic organization based in New York City, with a mission to investigate and illuminate the societal effects of new technologies. We'll launch in March 2019.
Why you should join us
First and most importantly, because the work matters. By joining The Markup, you'll play a key role in one of the most significant stories of our time.
Technology is changing everything: who we vote for, how we raise our kids, and who is able to get housing, jobs, healthcare, and a comfortable life. At The Markup, we will investigate the societal effects of new technologies and make them understandable to a general readership. We will hold the powerful to account, raise the cost of bad behavior in the tech industry and among institutional users of tech, and spur reforms. And, we’ll help a general readership understand the effects of new technologies, so they can form opinions and draw conclusions about the role they want technology to play in their lives.
That's the big picture.
On a day-to-day level, we think we're going to have a lot of fun, and we're looking forward to building a healthy, high-performing work culture. The nuts-and-bolts of what we'll offer:
- Fair and reasonable salaries. We pay better than most nonprofits, and more than many journalism organizations. Nobody is going to get rich working at The Markup, but you'll be able to afford to live in New York.
- A benefits package that includes medical, dental, vision, life, disability, pet insurance, and retirement plan contributions. Three weeks of vacation per year plus 11 days off for public holidays, 12 days of sick leave, and four days of personal leave.
- The tools you need to do your work. A supportive and well-designed office environment with sufficient audio and visual privacy to do your job, and a mix of quiet spaces and spaces for group work. The hardware, software, security practices, furniture, and basic amenities you'll need to do your work well.
- The opportunity to learn, and to pioneer. Journalists at The Markup will be given time to go deep on important stories. We'll break new ground when it comes to data collection and analysis techniques. We'll invest in your professional development.
- Great colleagues! We know that jerks can spoil the workplace for everybody, and we won't tolerate them. We're committed to building a high-performing top-quality team that includes a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives. We aim to be a place where a diverse mix of dedicated people will want to come, to stay, and do their best work.
What our hiring process will look like
We think it's not a great idea to just hire friends and friends-of-friends. That happens all the time in journalism, and we think it's one reason the industry is so demographically narrow.
We want to do better. That's why we've designed a careful, deliberate hiring process, with an emphasis on outreach to people we don’t already know.
Here's how it'll work:
First, we're going to publicly post all our jobs. Every vacancy will be on our job application page, our social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook), and a bunch of other sites and job boards including those that reach people who are underrepresented in the industry.
We'll do a full set of interviews for every position. Candidates will talk with a screener, the hiring manager, their future colleagues and senior executives, and the Executive Director. The interviewing process will take several weeks.
For every position, we're going to want to see work product: your design portfolio, clips, code, or something else. We don't want to just see you how good you are at self-presentation; we want to see things you have made.
And we'll do thorough reference checks. Too often this is a step that hiring managers skip, and we think that's strange. Deep reference checks can tell us not just how good you are, but also about your preferences and quirks and failure modes on the job. It can help us prepare to support you well.
What we don't want
Please don’t contact a hiring manager directly. Please don’t send a CV or application package to staff at their individual email addresses. Please don't reach out to your friends here to try to side-step the process. If you don't send an application package through the jobs site, you will likely fall through the cracks and get lost. We are deluged in incoming CVs, and we don't want to lose yours, so please apply through the website. If you have sent us stuff already, please send it again through our job application page.
Why are we doing it this way?
We know this is going to be slow, and we may end up losing fantastic candidates who don't have the patience for a lengthy process. We know that we're especially at risk of losing senior people: you may feel like your reputation should be enough for us, or that you already know one of us well enough to skip all the vetting. But we urge you to stick with us!
We think it makes sense to hire carefully. We will vet you thoroughly, and that means we'll be thoroughly vetting your future colleagues as well. That's good for everybody.
What we're looking for
If you've read this far, congratulations: please apply to work with us :)
Each job will have its own requirements, but here's a list of qualities and characteristics we're looking for in everyone we hire.
- We're looking for people who are smart, curious, and engaged. Everybody at The Markup should have a broad, general curiosity about the world, and especially about the societal implications of technology. You don’t need to be a technologist or care about technology for its own sake, but we expect you to care about technology's effects on people.
- We believe good journalism aims to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. To work with us, you'll need to be both brave and kind.
- We're making new things, and so we're seeking people who are inventive, oriented towards experimentation, and avidly learning-focused. We believe in continuous improvement.
- We respect our readers and we want to be accountable to them. That means we’re going to ‘show our work’ wherever possible, including by publishing our data sets and the names of our donors. People who work with us will need to be open to explaining their decisions, acknowledging mistakes, and learning from feedback.
- We believe journalism is a team sport and we're looking for solid team players. We like people who are direct, straightforward, and thoughtful, and who can disagree in healthy ways. No jerks, no egomaniacs.
- Everybody at The Markup will need to have a base level of technical proficiency. It'll look different for different jobs, but as a baseline we will expect you to be willing and able to do things like using a Yubikey and a secure messaging app. (We expect you to care about privacy and security too, whatever your role is.)
- We expect everybody at The Markup to work hard. It's a startup! And it's journalism! We expect some people will need to work long hours for weeks or even months, sometimes unpredictably. We'll encourage you to take breaks between periods of sustained hard work, but we'll need you to be able to manage a healthy pace of work.
- We respect people's differences, and we'd like you to respect them too. The Markup doesn't want to be a monoculture. We respect that people have varying preferences and needs related to workplace socializing and friendships, food and alcohol, safety and security, hours of work, etc., and we aim to create an environment in which people's differences don't result in them being disadvantaged.
If this sounds like you, we want you to join us! Apply to our jobs here.